It looks like former US president won’t be convicted by the US Senate after the Senate tabled an effort by Sen. Rand Paul Tuesday to force a vote on the constitutionality of former President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial.
In order to convict Trump at his trial, at least 17 Republicans will need to vote with all Democrats when the trial begins next month.
Paul’s motion saying convicting a president who isn’t in office is unconstitutional was killed on a 55-45 vote, with five Republicans joining all Democrats, meaning 45 Republicans voted for Paul’s effort.
Republican Sens. Mitt Romney of Utah, Ben Sasse of Nebraska, Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania crossed party lines to vote with Democrats.
Significantly, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell sided with Paul in the vote — an indicator that he agrees that it is unconstitutional to impeach a former President.
Paul argued after the vote that the fact that 45 Republicans sided with him “shows that impeachment is dead on arrival.”
“If you voted that it was unconstitutional then how in the world would you ever hope to convict somebody for this?” Paul asked, adding ,”45 of us, almost the entire caucus, 95% of the caucus, voted that the whole proceeding was unconstitutional. This is a big victory for us. Democrats can beat this partisan horse as long as they want — this vote indicates it’s over, the trial is all over.”
Paul said in a floor speech ahead of the vote, “I want this body on record, every last person here: Is this how you think politics should be?”
“Democrats insist on applying a test of incitement to a Republican that they refuse to apply to themselves,” he said. “I want Democrats to raise their hands if they have ever given a speech that says ‘take back,’ ‘fight for your country,’ who hasn’t used the words fight figuratively?”
He went on to say, “Are we going to put every politician in jail — are we going to impeach every politician who has used the words fight figuratively in a speech? Shame!”
Even the Republicans who voted against Paul’s measure like Susan Collins said Tuesday’s vote was a sign of the eventual outcome of the trial.
“Do the math,” she said. “I think it’s extraordinarily unlikely that the President will be convicted.”
Republican Sen. Rob Portman, who recently announced he won’t seek reelection in 2022, said he voted with Paul because he thinks there should be a debate on the constitutionality of an impeachment trial for a former president.
“I want to hear it debated,” Portman told reporters.
“The vote to table is inconsistent with that, you know, but I’ve not made my mind up. I’m a juror. And I mean I’ve the same position Mitch McConnell has. He didn’t do that to be tabled either, even though he wants to have, you know, a fulsome discussion.”
The Democratic-led House has already voted to impeach Trump, charging him with incitement of insurrection for the attack on the Capitol that left multiple people dead.
But two-thirds of the Senate would have to vote to convict Trump after a trial, meaning 17 Republicans will have to join 50 Democrats for him to be convicted, an unlikely scenario as things stand.
Buhari’s successor must be Yoruba Muslim – Islamic group vows
The group wondering why no single Yoruba Muslim has ever ruled Nigeria since independence to date, argued that all Yoruba that have occupied the position have been Christians all along.
MURIC’s argument is contained in a statement issued by its director, Professor Ishaq Akintola, on Friday, contending that Yoruba Muslims have been at the receiving end of political and religious persecution for too long.
It said in the interest of fairness and equity, it’s time to allow a Yoruba Muslim occupy Nigeria’s number one seat come 2023.
MURIC argued that even on the state level, Muslims in the South West have suffered marginalisation in the appointment of Commissioners and other political positions by Governors of Ekiti, Oyo, Ondo and Ogun.
“Are Yoruba Muslims third class or second class citizens? Are we not equal before the law?
“It is our strong belief that the narrative will only change when a Yoruba Muslim occupies Aso Rock. Who feels it knows it,” MURIC said.
“Yorubas have been heads of state, president and vice president but all those who got there have always been Christians.
“So we have had three Christians of Yoruba extraction in Aso Rock at different times. It is therefore natural to ask why there hasn’t been any Yoruba Muslim politician in Aso Rock all these years, particularly from 1979 to date?
“President Buhari’s tenure ends in 2023 and the South West is already warming up. Will it still be fair for another Christian from the South West to occupy Aso Rock come 2023?
“Our message to all political parties is loud and clear. Yoruba Muslims will not support any non-Muslim presidential candidate put forward by any political party. To our brothers in the North, we call for solidarity for a Yoruba Muslim presidential candidate from any political party,” he said.
Senate confirms Abdulrasheed Bawa as EFCC chairman
The 40-year-old Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist was screened by the lawmakers at the Upper Chamber of the National Assembly today February 24.
Last week, President Buhari nominated Bawa and asked the Senate to confirm him as the substantive Chairman of the Commission.
He assumes office as the first core EFCC official and non-police officer to head the agency.
Bawa also became the youngest person ever to serve as chairman of the anti-corruption agency.
10 dead, 47 injured in fresh Boko Haram attack on Maiduguri
Ten persons have been confirmed dead and 47 others injured in the fresh attack carried out by Boko Haram members in Maiduguri, the Borno state capital on Tuesday night, February 23.
The insurgents stormed the city launching 10 rockets. Among the dead were nine boys playing football at Gwange, when rockets landed in the area.
The state governor, Babagana Zulum, last night visited the hospital where the dead and the injured were evacuated shortly after the incident occurred. He was told that 10 people were killed in the explosions that rocked the city and 47 others injured.
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